DURHAM, N.C. – Nolan Smith, former Duke Basketball All-American and current special assistant, announced Tuesday that he is joining the national non-profit Teen Cancer America (TCA) as a celebrity sports ambassador.
Founded by rock ‘n’ roll legends Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, TCA is dedicated to developing specialized facilities that address the age-specific clinical and psychosocial needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer.
Launched in the U.S. in 2012, TCA has projects underway or in development with world-class cancer centers at UCLA, Stanford, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dana-Farber, Yale, University of Chicago, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and many more. Partnerships with more than 50 hospitals around the country are in various stages of planning, including Duke Cancer Institute at Duke University Hospital.
At a press conference at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday, Smith introduced “TCA Tuesday,” a social media and text campaign which calls on supporters to donate $5 in order to raise $1 million for TCA initiatives in 2017.
Supporters can text NOLAN to 20222 to donate $5 or go online at teencanceramerica.org/donate for other donations.
Smith, who has more than 87,000 followers of his @ndotsmitty account on Twitter, will be supported in the campaign by Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB), which has more than 800,000 Twitter followers.
One of Smith’s fundraising goals will benefit the “Nolan Smith AYA Cancer Leaders Workship” during the 2017 AYA (Adolescent and Young Adult) Cancer Conference in Atlanta, sponsoring 20 cancer care professionals from hospitals and community clinics for a training day at the international conference.
Smith will also work with Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank, a major TCA sponsor, to drive awareness of its #LetMyLoveOpentheDoor campaign, which serves to raise funds online and through branch locations in 18 states.
In addition to Smith, the press conference included Sally Webb, a founding board member of Teen Cancer America, Duke Cancer Institute Fellow Dr. Jill Sullivan and Daltrey (via video message).